NIHR position on the sharing of research data

The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) has an Open Access Policy which covers published peer-reviewed research articles and also underlying research materials such as data, samples and models.

In May 2019, NIHR published its position on the sharing of research data outlining requirements for NIHR-funded research.

"The NIHR strongly supports the sharing of data in the most appropriate way, to help deliver research that maximises benefits to patients and the wider public, the health and care system and which contributes to economic growth in the UK."

A summary of the NIHR requirements for:

Data management plans

The NIHR expects all NIHR researchers to prepare and submit a data management and access plan. The plan must be published, e.g. through a trial registry, the NIHR Funding and Awards website or a study website. NIHR state that they "will monitor the submission and implementation of data management and access plans."

Help with costs

The NIHR does not explicitly address costs of data management, infrastructure or sharing.

Data deposit and retention

The policy does not specify how long data must be retained for. In this case the University of York Research Data Management Policy requires data to be retained for at least 10 years.

If you have deposited or intend to deposit data from your study into a data repository or archive, you should "supply the URL so that the link to the archived data can be displayed on the NIHR Journals Library website alongside your published report."

Data access and sharing

Although the NIHR expects researchers to consider and plan for data access, it does not require data to be made openly available.

Where data is released, it will be subject to a data use agreement between the organisation contracted to perform the research and the party requesting the data.

Data access statements

The NIHR requires researchers to "Include information on how to access the data, through a data sharing statement, when publishing the findings of the research."

Further sources of help